It is prohibited to sell, transport, and import illegally unlawful controlled substances, such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, and other illegal drugs. The penalties for such drug crimes vary widely depending on specific circumstances of the commission of the crime, such as type and amount of drugs or involving children in the crime. A person convicted of drug trafficking and distribution can face various penalties: from 3-5 years to life in prison.
According to California Health and Safety Code 11352 HS, every person who transports, imports into this state(California), sells, furnishes, administers, or gives away, or offers to transport, import into this state, sell, furnish, administer, or give away, or attempts to import into this state or transport any controlled substance specified in the USA’s government “Controlled Substances Act” which is a narcotic drug commits a crime of drug trafficking and distribution, unless upon the written prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian licensed to practice in California.
In order to prove the commission of the offense, the prosecutor must prove:
- The defendant was engaged(or offered to commit) at least one of the actions noted above
- The defendant knew of the drug’s presence and nature as a controlled substance
- The defendant had enough of the drug to be used as a controlled substance.
It should be mentioned that it is enough to prove the constructive possesses of the control substances in order to find a person guilty. During constructive possession the person can only execute control (direct or indirect) over a location where the controlled substances are placed. It means there is no obligation to possess the drug exclusively that is to say an individual can send someone to sell drugs in the streets or drive a car when someone sells drugs sitting in this car.
It is not required to prove the knowledge of the defendant about the specific type of controlled substance. Thus, it is no defense that the defendant believed he possessed another drug. For example, the defendant thought it was marijuana, but actually he possessed cocaine. If the proof shows the defendant knew he possessed for sale or transported a controlled substance (even it was another controlled substance than he thought), he is not relieved of criminal responsibility by reason of misidentifying mistake.
A person can be charged with trafficking if the police found in his/her unlawful possession drugs. Moreover, if it was a large amount of drugs or cash at the time of the arrest, it would be hard to avoid conviction of drug distribution.
Drug distribution or trafficking can be applied to the illegal distribution of prescription drugs as well, such as pain killers or sleeping pills.
Drug trafficking and distribution is a felony. In California, it is considered to be more serious crime than drug possession. The penalties for the commission of this crime are:
- probation and up to one year in county jail,
- three (3), four (4) or five (5) years in the California state prison
- a fine up to $20,000.
Moreover, any person transporting abovementioned drugs within California from one county to another non-contiguous county will be punished by imprisonment for three (3), six (6), or nine (9) years. Controlled substances offences are stated in the U.S. Code Section 1227 as deportable aliens. Thus, trafficking and distribution of controlled substances is a crime that could lead to deportation.
There are also other aggravating circumstances for drug trafficking and distribution. If the person who committed the offense knew, or reasonably should have known that a person to whom he/she unlawfully sold, furnished, administered, or gave away controlled substance
- is pregnant at the time of the selling, furnishing, administering, or giving away of the controlled substance
- had been previously convicted of a violent felony
- was in psychological treatment for a mental disorder or for substance abuse at the time of the selling, furnishing, administering, or giving away of the controlled substance
THIS PERSON must be punished in the harshest way by the court.
If you have been charged with a crime it does not mean you are guilty.
The Margarian Law Firm aggressively protects the rights of criminal defendants in California. Contact us and we will evaluate your case and prepare as fast as possible your defense for trial as well as we will negotiate your plea bargain and do our best to get the best possible outcome for you. You will get your legal assistance as soon as you contact us. We handle every aspect of your case, from the first step to the very last court hearing.
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Health & Safety Code 11352 HS
“Sale or Transportation of a Controlled Substance”
11352. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this division, every person who transports, imports into this state, sells, furnishes, administers, or gives away, or offers to transport, import into this state, sell, furnish, administer, or give away, or attempts to import into this state or transport (1) any controlled substance specified in subdivision (b), (c), or (e), or paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, specified in paragraph (14), (15), or (20) of subdivision (d) of Section 11054, or specified in subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11055, or specified in subdivision (h) of Section 11056, or (2) any controlled substance classified in Schedule III, IV, or V which is a narcotic drug, unless upon the written prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian licensed to practice in this state, shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for three, four, or five years.
(b) Notwithstanding the penalty provisions of subdivision (a), any person who transports for sale any controlled substances specified in subdivision (a) within this state from one county to another noncontiguous county shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for three, six, or nine years.